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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 26

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-65

The genealogies here labour under the usual difficulties arising from variation of orthography, or from the omission of a name. The five or six names omitted here of those who went down into Egypt, are supposed either to have died without issue, or to have changed their names. Ard is omitted in the Hebrew, but supplied in the English in italics. Jezer, Joshua 17:2; and Shuham is called Hushim. Genesis 46:23. Families will sometimes obstinately persist in varying the orthography of their names. This consideration, with the recollection that men had frequently two names, and that the grandsons of a patriarch are frequently called his sons, should check severity of scrutiny in regard to genealogies in the sacred writings.

Numbers 26:11 . The children of Korah died not. The divine law is lenient; it did not cut off the children of the three rebels from inheritance.

Numbers 26:53 . To these the land shall be divided. What faith: to divide the land before they had conquered it! Lord, increase our faith.


From this poll of the people we see, ( 1) The faithfulness of God to his promise. Genesis 15:0. He made Isaac and Jacob’s seed as the dust of the earth.

(2) We see the care of providence over his people. God not only registers their names and families, but he numbers the hairs of their heads.

(3) The first numbering was on leaving Egypt, for paying the half shekel towards the erection of the tabernacle, for every man in the church must do his part; now they are numbered, that God may pay them back again by a family inheritance in the promised land. May the Lord register our names also in the book of life, for an inheritance among all them that are sanctified.

(4) In this poll we see farther, the great waste of all flesh, and the shortness and uncertainty of life. All the men above twenty years of age on leaving Egypt were now dead, except Caleb and Joshua, whose faith prolonged their lives; and Moses, who was about to see the land, and die. Life, short and uncertain in itself, is alas very much shortened by reason of sin.

(5) Though providence punished the rebellious fathers, it nevertheless extended its care to the children. Notwithstanding all the hardships of the desert, and all the tremendous visitations of God, the aggregate number of the men was not two thousand less than when they left the land of Goshen. Surely God had been a father to the people, and had never for a moment lost sight of his covenant care.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 26". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/numbers-26.html. 1835.
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